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What is a record?

Essentially, a record in its simplest form comprises four types of information:

  1. The species.
  2. Where encountered, e.g. the grid reference and site name.
  3. When encountered, e.g. the time and date.
  4. By whom.


There are several details that are worth including for the species concerned, such as numbers seen, whether larvae, hatchlings or juveniles were observed (to indicate breeding success), and which methods were used (e.g. bottle traps, torch count, refugia). Additional details that are often useful, though not essential, to collect include the following:


  1. A concise habitat description with details of the setting, dominant vegetation types and topography, (site map and site photograph).
  2. The protective status of the site (National Nature Reserve, SSSI etc).
  3. Information on the ownership of and access to the site; this can help greatly if a return visit or advice on management is required.
  4. Any obvious threats to the site, such as encroaching development, unsympathetic management, human interference or pollution (worth noting in case remedial action can be taken).
  5. Other useful information to include is the weather conditions.
  6. With water bodies, the temperature, Ph and Oxygen content are useful parameters to include.

Further information can be found in Common Standards Monitoring (CSM) at http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-2217, and Common Standards Monitoring Guidance for Reptiles and Amphibians at http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-2223
You can submit your records online here for Amphibians or Reptiles
Click here to see some notes concering recording.